For Jen Fariello, her life was not what she expected it to be. Now a successful photographer, the once University of Virginia Pre-Dental Major owns a thriving photography business in Charlottesville. After an inspiring professor led her toward pursuing her dream of a career in photography, Fariello rented out the lower level of the Jefferson Theatre. It was there that she and other young artists created the Downtown Art Space. “There was nothing else like it Downtown,” she says.
Especially during First Fridays, the Downtown Art Space thrived: “First Fridays was a huge art scene, and the Jefferson Theatre was the last space people hit and so they stayed there. People started seeing my art and I started getting hired and I couldn’t believe it. Soon after, people were saying, ‘I like your style, could you photograph this event?’.” Fariello was amazed at her good fortune in Charlottesville. After all, she admits, “many artists look at Charlottesville as a stepping stone in their career.” However, she is living proof of how Charlottesville has nurtured her career into the successful business she now owns.
Fariello briefly describes her photography style as “artistic, simple, natural light, black and white portrait imagery.” She explains how she does not always use digital cameras, so that her art looks singular and unique in black and white. This distinctive result is due to the photographer being able to control variables such as the lighting in the film. Fariello’s works are inspired by flirty and romantic fashion photography from the 40’s and 50’s. She is particularly inspired by the curvy and angular photography of Ruth Helmut.
This artist says she plans on remaining in Charlottesville as “it’s a community that supports people doing their thing, which is a special part of Charlottesville.”
Jen Fariello’s art can be found on her blog. Fariello herself may be found at one of her favorite Charlottesville restaurants, Mas, or at the Downtown Mall – her favorite place to take photographs.